Let’s face it, anyone who has advised, been editor-in-chief, or worked on staff knows that making an even “mediocre” yearbook is a ton of work. So why not strive for something great? A middle school yearbook can be just as good — or better — than a high school one.
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Assuming the position of middle school yearbook adviser, which is usually part of a full teaching schedule, can be an overwhelming task. While middle school yearbooks may not be of the same magnitude as those created at the high school level, they provide unique challenges and require significant planning as well as creativity.
Advising a middle school yearbook staff sometimes feels like a game of telephone. Remember that game? You whisper, “I like cheese,” to the first person in line, only to end up with, “Did you know that Sarah is dating Bobby?” at the end of the line.
What has 50 legs, questions everything, talks all the time and cannot follow directions? A middle school journalism class. In fact, that is my middle school journalism class. However, the news is good. You can tame this beast with the proper tools and the patience of a saint.
A yearbook’s success depends a great deal on the students selected for the job. The adviser’s job is to help guide students and teach them what is right and wrong, but all students selected should be self-motivated and willing to work.
One of the biggest challenges of putting together the middle school yearbook is getting photo coverage of every school event. Read how one staff tackles this by using a couple of effective strategies.
The challenge for a middle school adviser trying to implement yearbook best practices is a balance of giving students an opportunity to explore a new, enriching possibility while enlisting responsible individuals to produce a high-quality product. This all begins with the selection process.
“Yearbook advisor was one of the most rewarding parts of this school year for me, because I was able to work one-on-one with great kids and help them create something of which they are proud,” Wiley said. “I am part of chronicling the year’s events and capturing the best in the students and staff at the middle school. That’s a priceless experience!”
Students readily understand the power of having a camera in hand. They see that it can make people do one of three things: hide, mug, or go on with their business but direct their activity to the camera. I teach my students that with power comes a responsibility to be above reproach at all times. To this end, my students are given lessons in manners and protocol when out of the class and on assignment.